|Lost Mine Trail by Chris McHenry, 2006, 40 x 50. Collection the artist.|
My answer to that is nada! Zippo! Zilch! As the weather heats up from coast to coast, now is the time when artists turn their attention to the excitement of landscape painting. But I'll be honest with you. I'm still intimidated by the whole landscape painting process. There seems to be so much to contend with–the weather, changing lighting conditions, the weather, packing correctly…did I mention the weather?
That's why I found such real inspiration in our free eBook, Landscape Painting Techniques: Painting Light and Shadow in Your Landscape Art. Artists Steve Armes, Joseph Bohler and Chris McHenry, discuss how they each approach painting landscapes within their chosen medium. Armes is a plein air painter who uses a variety of sources to create stirring studio paintings. Bohler is a watercolorist with an eye for simplified compositions and objects and places that are timeworn. McHenry has a background as a billboard sign painter and puts his experience to good use in his landscape art, focusing on how to evoke a place without a lot of detail and how to paint patterns of sunlight and shadow while sticking to big shapes.
Joseph Bohler's approach is to enjoy the process
From each artist I learned about how to use contrast to good effect, what to focus on when you are first beginning as a landscape artist, and what I should try to accomplish while painting outdoors vs. in the studio. But most of all I was reminded of how deeply most landscape artists love what they do. Bohler reflects that painting the landscape is one of the best, most satisfying decisions he's ever made, and McHenry has been able to travel all over the Southwest observing and painting the cities and natural wonders he finds there. Sometimes when I get nervous about all the elements landscape painters have to deal with, I forget that the whole point is to just be out there–breathing the air, taking in the natural beauty around me, and enjoying it for all it is worth.
Landscape painting is a joyful thing. At least, that is what it comes down to for me. Our free eBook, Landscape Painting Techniques: Painting Light and Shadow in Your Landscape Art gives you insights into how to make the most of your painting session once you are out there, and may remind you, as it did me, of all the inspiring things you'll see when you step outside the studio. Enjoy!